3 Ways To Kick Start Your Retail Omnichannel Strategy
An annual survey found out that 53% of consumers want to feel unique and recognized on a personal level across all of the channels that they use. At the same time, a study by Bloomberg showed that retailers don’t place personalization at the top of their marketing priority list; in fact, they placed it at the bottom.
Customers would want to involve themselves with businesses that value them, be it online or in a brick and mortar store. But most businesses are messing up and not meeting the expectations of the customers.
For many business owners, it isn’t about simply getting the word out and increasing online presence but also to increase the quality of customer service across all verticals and channels. What this calls for is an omnichannel marketing strategy for your retail business.
Omnichannel Marketing: What Is It?
It is about the engagement that businesses make with customers across various channels. It is the understanding that some customers will walk into your store, while others will go through your e-commerce store browsing at your inventory.
The quality of service that they expect is the same- be it brick and mortar or on a mobile-based platform. Omnichannel marketing means that a business will consider all of the modes to be the primary channel. What this means is that if one channel is insufficient, then the other channels will also take a beating.
A decade or so back, companies could get away with focusing on just one mode of marketing. But as we inch through the 21st century, effectively that has changed.
A research study by Google found that 98% of American consumers with multiple devices like computers and smartphones make use of multiple screens on a daily basis. Customers want a seamless experience when they are switching from one mode to another, no matter what.
To further drive the need to have an omnichannel marketing strategy, an Aberdeen study found that retailers using such a channel retained 89% of the customers, while those without omnichannel marketing held onto just 33%.
The days of looking at it like separate entities are long gone- it is time to connect all of your customer touchpoints. How can you get started on one?
Get All Of The Partners And Stakeholders On The Idea
Merging many modes into one requires many moving parts to work simultaneously. If the stakeholders all pool in their efforts and resources, then the initiative is more likely to sail.
This means that all of the decision-making executives of marketing, sales, IT and customer service department sit down and collaborate. To devise the entire plan, one requires the insights of the ground.
Consider the channels through which customers connect with you. Some use social media, and you would know that a unique perspective is needed on how to serve your customers on social media platforms. The hands-on knowledge for the in-store team is entirely different and requires the concerned person of expertise to decode this.
Ask your team what is working and what isn’t- you can better implement and succeed in the venture of omnichannel marketing this way.
What Are Your Customer Touchpoints?
How is it that your customers are interacting with your brand? There isn’t any point in omnichannel marketing if you don’t know how your customers are interacting. So figure out the touchpoints.
This can be in-store to emails or billboard advertising. Each of these avenues is an extension of your brand and the image it carries. The mobile app is part of the customer experience and is designed to inform buyers about products, facilitate a sale, and entice them to make more purchases. This is exactly what is done in a brick-and-mortar store, but in a different mode.
Important touchpoints that are mishandled can send the word for customers to flee, and create a damaging, unfavorable word of mouth running amok.
It is as important to examine the various conversions and use analytics to make subtle changes and tweaks, that are needed to push the campaign in the right direction. Find out where it is that customers leave the sales funnel, and what are the touchpoints that persuade them to make a purchase.
Create A Smooth Continuous Experience
The process is an on-going one, and as you progress, the goal is to create a seamless experience. You will need to work with your team closely, so as to create a brand image and message that transcends various channels and offers a sense of convenience to the customers. Channel your focus on creating a similar brand experience on different channels.
Take the case of Disney. Customers make use of mobile-responsive websites to purchase trip packages online, and after that is done they can completely customize their experience-right from dining to accommodation- once at the park the same app can be used to navigate through the attractions and get valuable help and information.
You want your branding to be uniform across the platform, and aim to deliver a flawless experience. Best that you start from today, as omnichannel marketing is a necessity in today’s retail market!